Here We Are

And here we are.  It’s a crazy world out there right now.  I’ve been giving this a lot of thought, and in light of all the chaos, I’m going to be working hard to bring a little levity.  Red Clay Soul has always been a break from the mundane, and I’m going to continue that, with more emphasis on community-based posts.  I’d love to have all of you participate in conversations here on the blog, on Instagram, via email…whatever.  Anything we can do to have a little fun and enjoy the community that we’ve built.

So here’s where I’m at.  My company told us to work from home through the end of the month, and it’ll probably be longer.  My wife is home-based, and has essentially been grounded from all travel until further notice.  As you know, we have a 2.5-year old and a 9-month old, and their school is staying open even though our county’s school system has been shut down.  We are in a really strange situation.  After thinking about this quite a bit, I think I have a good plan for our family and our living situation going forward.  By no means am I a doctor or a psychologist, but this is what Mrs. RCS and I are going to do:

1. Stay clean, be safe, and be vigilant.  We are pretty clean folks as it is, but we are following all the CDC recommendations, as well as using our common sense.  Stolen from @serenagwolf ‘s Instagram:

2. We are keeping a routine.  We are both highly organized people who live off of lists and keep a pretty high standard, so I know that keeping some sense of continuity while our normal day-to-day is completely off.  Here’s what I’m planning to do:

  • Set an Alarm.  We are getting up at our normal time every morning.  No sleeping in or trying to take advantage of the ‘flex work’ schedule.  Set the alarm and get out of bed.
  • Work Out.  We are planning to add some sort of daily exercise routine – whether it’s taking the dogs for an early morning walk, she does ‘flows’ (some sort of yoga), or some circuits with dumbbells.
  • Daily Devotional.  I read a daily bible verse and say a quick prayer every morning.  I feel like this centers me, and starts me off on the right foot.  I plan on continuing this, but maybe a little more amplified.
  • Shower and get dressed.  WFH is not a sick day, so PLEASE resist the urge to work from bed.  Instead, we are both showering and getting dressed, and treating each work day in a professional manner.  I know I’m going to get the question, so in terms of how I’m going to do it:  I’m not going to put on a dress shirt and a sport coat every day, but I am going to go hard with OCBDs and golf shirts, Quarter Zips and vests, 5-pockets and garment dyed Levi’s, Camp Mocs and drivers, and a cool belt.  I’m starting to see video-chat requests pop up on my calendar, so I want to dress accordingly.  Plus, being dressed makes me feel more formal, and I expect my output will be greater.

3. Pre-cook Meals.  Especially lunch.  That way we don’t end up at Chick-Fil-A every day.

4. Take Intentional Breaks.  It’s almost impossible to sit behind my laptop for ten hours a day, because burnout will creep in very quickly.  I plan on taking quick 20-minute breaks throughout the day, just to relax my brain and get some stuff done.  Some ideas: clean a room at a time.  Do laundry.  House projects (specifically those that don’t require a change of clothes) – clean out some drawers/cabinet, work on a closet purge, shine some shoes, pull weeds, etc.  Take the dogs for a walk around the block.

5. Proactively Reach Out.  All of your friends and family are sitting around doing the same thing you are.  I plan on connecting with as many as I can.  Why not?

6. Lunch Dates with Mrs. RCS.  Even if it’s a quick sandwich, it will be nice to enjoy the time.

7. Set an ‘End Time’ for Work.  When working from home, there is a weird desire to never turn off since the boundaries of a commute create those bookends.  Fight that artificial urge and dedicate time to your family.

8. Kid Time!  We want to keep the kiddo routine the same, even though ours has completely changed.  Pick them up from school, play time, dinner time, bath time, story time, bed time.

9. Clean Up.  After the kids go down, we are planning on taking an hour to clean up the house.  This way the house is in ship-shape when we wake up the next morning.

10. Read.  We are both going to *try* to read a book at bedtime vs. TV.  Let’s be honest, there aren’t any sports, so…  However:

11. “Love is Blind”.  There’s always Netflix…

This is what works for us, so we are going to give it the old college try.  This is a weird time, so we are trying to keep some control in our lives.  I’m actually more excited about it than I am vs. the anxiety of what’s going on.

What’s your plan?

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12 Comments

  1. Fat Elvis
    03/16/2020 / 8:40 AM

    The time has changed. The trees are budding. Green is coming back. If I do everything on my WFH list, then I can go play 9 holes with the kids. No PGA doesn’t mean No golf.. #NoChronavirusOnGolfCourse

    • JRS
      Author
      03/16/2020 / 1:17 PM

      Yep – golf courses, lakes and rivers, and hiking trails are all safe spaces… REI should really be hitting the #getoutside thing…

    • JR KAMRA
      03/22/2020 / 5:46 PM

      Did a virtual happy hour with friends on Friday night. Set up a Zoom meeting and had a good group join from around the country.

  2. whiskeydent
    03/16/2020 / 9:01 AM

    Dark humor works best for me, so I’ve taken to singing “the perfect country and wester song” part of “You Never Called Me By My Name” as I wash the hands. Remember to sing it in the original slow pace.
    I was drunk the day my mom got out of prison,
    And I went to pick her up in the rain.
    But before I could get to the station in my pickup truck,
    She got runned over by a danged old train.

    • JRS
      Author
      03/16/2020 / 1:18 PM

      I approve.

  3. Tanner Knox
    03/16/2020 / 11:47 AM

    Teleworking and keeping the normal routine as well. Early walks with the hound, coffee, shower, and setting up shop in the breakfast nook. The only difference is Bobby and Jerry are playing on the bose speaker as opposed to the normal headphones and the 2018 Rose Bowl is on mute. And breaks consist of re-rigging all my redfish rods… Not too shabby.

    • JRS
      Author
      03/16/2020 / 1:20 PM

      Yeah – that’s something I should have mentioned – we’re listening to a lot of music here at the fort.

  4. Edgar
    03/16/2020 / 12:00 PM

    This is great! I’ve kinda been doing this anyway since I broke my leg/ankle. The unfortunate part is working from home…I cannot as my job does not allow me (LEO). Instead of small children, we’ve had both girls come home from college to study remotely until further notice so we’ve had to adjust. Blessings & Prayers.

  5. Nem
    03/16/2020 / 12:26 PM

    It’s business as usual for my small firm here in SOWEGA, but my wife’s large corporate office is preparing for WFH soon I suspect. I’m practicing strict social distancing and avoiding any crowds. Church yesterday was not as full as usual, and I suspect services will be postponed until April or May if things keep going the way they are. No cases in my County, today.

    If we do implement a WFH schedule, which we may have to do, I predict strict adherence to my regular schedule and dress code while working out of my home office. All this reminds me, what are low traffic times for liquor stores? Asking for a friend…

  6. Brian Robinson
    03/17/2020 / 5:41 AM

    I have been working from home since my mid life career change from diplomatic work to consulting last September. Going from 60 hours a week in a high pressure office environment to working from home 100% of the time was a difficult transition.

    Your suggestions about establishing a routine and especially showering and dressing is key. Starting ones day with a prayer, a shower, and a plan is key to good mental health and adds much needed structure.

    We are going to be in this situation for at least 8-12 weeks. My suggestions, avoid tv news, be kind to your love ones, don’t check your 401k, eat healthy, avoid booze as it is not a good treatment plan for anxiety and/or depression, plan a fantastic future basket list holiday with your loved ones as some real bargains will be on tap at the end of summer, ask your church how you can help older congregants who are shut in, go for a long walk in the woods at one of the fantastic state parks in our area as hiking is both good exercise and a way to social distance without feeling weird about it….

    Best of luck to all and keep your powder dry!

    Cheers,

    BSR

  7. HL
    03/18/2020 / 7:58 AM

    I think this is all absurd. When you look at the numbers (which don’t lie), statistically the seasonal influenza which we have a vaccine for is still more deadly than the coronavirus. 41% of coronavirus cases are recovered. This is just hurting our economy and businesses all around. If someone feels unsafe, fine let them stay home but the world should go on as business as usual.

  8. Nic G
    03/24/2020 / 3:41 PM

    I love the virtual happy hour idea for keeping in touch with your friends and still being social. We have been trying to maintain a somewhat normal routine of getting up at our regular time, showering, and getting “dressed for work”, at least changing out of pajamas. I have been reading, drawing, and listening to a ton of music. Follow your favorite artists, as a lot of them are hosting live streams from their homes. For the fly fishermen out there, if you don’t already know him, check out John Gierach for some fun reads and life anecdotes. Greatful Dead Road Trips compilation albums are getting heavy rotation right now on top of the live music streams.

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